Using a Pen Name

Do you write under a pen name? And if so, why?

An article in Writer’s Relief  lists reasons why writers choose to adopt pen names. It could be, as they point out, that another author “owns” your name. For example, it would be difficult for someone named Agatha Christie to write under her real name.

Or, as a high school teacher who writes erotica, you’d want to conceal your identity. I hope.

Or maybe, you write in a genre that has basically a male audience and you are a woman. Joanne Rowling used the initials J.K. (K after her grandmother Katherine) because she feared that boys would not want to read Harry Potter if it was written by (horror!) a girl.  Similarly, Mary Ann Evans used a male name because she wanted to be taken seriously and wrote under the name of George Eliot. Of course, that was in the 1860’s and that doesn’t happen anymore, right?

Should you be interested in using a pen name you might want to consult Ellen Sedwick’s Self-Publishers Legal handbook for the legal aspects on using a pen name .

Here are some well known pen names:

Amanda Cross: Carolyn Gold Heilbrun

Isak Dinesen: Karen Christenze von Blixen-Finecke

Ann Rice: Howard Allen Frances O’Brien

John le Carré: David Cornwell

And pen names that hide more famous real names:

Rosamond Smith: Joyce Carol Oates

Richard Backman: Stephen King

And there are authors who write under several pen names.

 

Kathryne layne               A Hint of Scandle 2

 

 

 

 

 

upon-your-love-final-cover    Heather Crouse

Click to read an excerpt from Marie Lavender’s latest book.

What are your thoughts on a pen name for yourself?

 

 

 

Back in the Groove

Two things have been happening since my last blog post eons ago.

Number 1

I moved.

Moving is much like doing a major spring cleaning of every room in your house. Every nook and cranny and every spec of dust. In a way, it was very liberating and made me practice minimalism. It struck me as incredible and depressing to see how much stuff I’d accumulated throughout the years.

I moved into a smaller apartment and so I needed to downsize and trim my possessions. I still haven’t been able to let go of a small beige colored handbag which I haven’t used in years but it used to belong to my mother. What am I holding unto?

And then there was the move itself during Montreal’s heaviest snowstorm of the season!

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Source

Oops! Sorry, wrong photo!

montreal-que-march-15-2017-sq-officers-on-snowmobile3

Source

My poor dog, Bau, didn’t at all like the move.

Wake me when it’s over!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Number 2

The second reason why I haven’t been posting on my blog is that I had nothing to say.

Then, I received an e-mail from Thelma Mariano, the editor of my women’s fiction novels:

New Picture (9)  balawydermissisdatingadventures  cafe paradise a  Not by Design

Thelma was recently interviewed by Duke Diercks where, along with 12 other editors, was asked this question:

What is the #1 mistake that you see first-time authors make?

 Here’s part of her answer:

 Most first-time novelists underestimate the amount of work required to bring their completed draft to a publishable level. This leads to what I believe is the #1 problem with early manuscripts: a lack of story tension.

If we lack a “story-worthy” problem, something strong enough to pull a reader through hundreds of pages, needing to know what happens next, no amount of editing will make it better.

Click here to read more on Thelma’s answer

and here on the editing process

More Indie Books I’ve Read

 

Here are two more books by fellow bloggers that you might enjoy reading.

 

Get  your copy of P.S. I Forgive You today!

 

Like all of D.G. Kaye’s books, I was eager to read her latest – a follow up to Conflicted Heart.  P.S. I Forgive You – A Broken Legacy  is Kaye’s most heart wrenching and intense book to date. Not surprising, considering the subject of this memoir.  It is D.G. Kaye’s and her siblings’ attempt of freeing themselves from the clutches of emotional neglect.

P.S. I Forgive You – A Broken Legacy is a testimony to the painful effects of her mother’s gambling addiction on her and her siblings. Anyone who has lived with an addict knows how destructive it can be, how much it creates guilt, resentment and a feeling of low self esteem.

P.S. I Forgive You  is heartbreaking to read but D.G. Kaye’s strength and ability to offer an honest examination of her experience is an inspiration to anyone who has found themselves with the difficult decision of turning away from a toxic relationship. Most importantly, in Kaye’s difficult journey to self love and acceptance she offers hope in her struggle to love a mother who was not able to provide the same for her children.

A tender, well written book.

Visit D.G.Kaye’s blog here: http://dgkayewriter.com/

 

 

Glass Slippers and Stilettos is a collection of ten short stories as seen through the eyes of Linden’s protagonist, Regina. In the story titled Driving Regina, whereby Regina is involved in an accident, Ana Linden writes: Little does he (the driver of the car Regina has run into) know that Regina has such emergencies once a week. This pretty well sums up Regina, along with this other line:  Men lovers are  her recreational drug.

Linden’s characters don’t have names. Instead she refers to them as Boyfriend, Lover, The Assistant, Kid, Mr. Impeccable Pedigree, and Inconsiderate. Using this technique is clever as it allows the reader to identify easily with the characters. Haven’t we all met such people in our own lives?

In some ways, Regina is a contemporary femme fatale (minus the crime) for she possesses traits often found in this archetype of literature: gold digger, selfish, heartless, manipulative, opportunist, sense of entitlement both with her friends, lovers and at work and an accomplished liar.

Although it is difficult to like Regina it is also difficult to put her down.

You can read excerpts from Glass Slippers and Stilettos here.

 

 

 

My Interview With Aimee at Hello…Chick Lit

Some of you might have read my guest post as author of the week on Aimee’s blog. Today, I am being interviewed there.

Here are some things you should know about Aimee:

 

About the Author:

She’s an Authors Assistant and Publicist (freelance) and thinks most authors are awesome, which is probably why she so generously opens her heart (and blog) to writers.

She’d love to be a Literary Agent.

She loves romantic comedy movies… Father of the Bride, You’ve Got Mail, which she may have them memorized and claims that she never watches other genres because, no one can make her.

Read more about Aimee on her fun About Me Page

 

Author of the Week – An Interview with Carol Balawyder

What was your inspiration to start (and keep) writing?

I really can’t remember when I started to write. Maybe I was ten. Maybe twelve. I just had a desire to write. There was no horrific incident happening in my life and no urgent message that I wanted to share with the world. What has kept me writing is more complex. I am basically an introvert and in a group I tend to listen more than talk. Writing is my preferred way of expressing myself. I draw a lot of my inspiration to write from books and blogs I read. Sometimes I draw inspiration from my past life experiences that I transfer to my characters. The creative process of writing fascinates me and I find the challenge which writing presents inspiring. Of course, there are times when I don’t feel inspired at all. These are the times that I have to accept this flat period and trust that inspiration will come. It usually does by my pulling away from my desk and engaging in something different – listening to music, going to an art gallery or taking my dog for a walk on the mountain.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write in and how it found you?

I write chick lit with my protagonists being older than most chick lit novels. How did it find me? I’ve always loved reading good chick lit. I find it entertaining and relaxing.  I like the lighthearted style of chick lit. The way the protagonists are able to self deprecate and the humor of chick lit. I guess I just feel comfortable in this way of writing..

Is there any author whom you’d admire and read every book they publish?  Who and why?

I admire tons of writers of different genres: crime fiction, literary fiction and biographies. Since we’re talking about chick-lit I’ll read anything that Helen Fielding writes. She’s clever, funny and heartwarming.

Click here to read more

 

 

 

 

Follow Me Today at Hello…Chick Lit

Meet AIMEE

About the Author:

 

Aimee has worked in Publishing for almost a year as a Book Marketing Manager, & Author Assistant. She has years of experience in Customer Service ranging from Call Centers (Netflix) – to Hospital ER’s.
She owns her own freelance Virtual Assisting Service/Blog Tour Company and is available for hire as an Authors Assistant/Personal Assistant. She also runs a Book Tour Company and is an aspiring author and freelance writer.

HCL Book Tours

 

This week I have the honor of being author of the week on Aimee’s blog 

Author of the Week

Posting Schedule:

A Guest Post – 06.14.16
An Interview – 06.16.16

You’ll find me as guest post today where I’m giving away

5 FREE ebooks of Not By Design. 

 

 

 

 

Helping Author’s Gain Exposure

Today I’m at Don Massenzio’s blog. Don is not only one of the most prolific bloggers I know but he posts about a variety of interesting subjects. One of his series is helping authors gain exposure and strengthen the blogging community. Don is always looking for authors to feature on his blog so if you’re interested just click here.

Don Massenzio author photo

In the meantime, here’s my interview with Don. 

THANKS, DON! 

Comments are closed here but open on Don’s blog.

How I Got Published: Phil Fragasso

Last May, in honor of Chick-lit month I wrote a post titled Chick Lit: Can Men Write it? That post linked to an article that raved about the enormous success of such male romance writers as David Nicholls and Nicholas Sparks and also included three other male writers in this genre.Today, I’m happy to add Phil Fragasso to that list and feature him on the series How I Got Published.

 

Phil Fragasso sold his first article at the age of sixteen and has written continuously since then. After a career as a marketing executive, he left the corporate world a few years ago to focus on activities that were more fulfilling on a personal level and more contributory to the world around him. Today he focuses on writing and teaching. He’s often said “I live the American dream” and that is indeed how he feels. With a wonderful wife, two grown children, great friends and a couple of rambunctious Labrador retrievers, he stays very active and involved.

HOW I GOT PUBLISHED

 I’ve often said that my tragic flaw is having too many interests. I’ve written in a wide variety of genres and my most recent books have been nonfiction. My first published book, however, was a YA novel and I love the characters I created to this day. During the years when my kids were young and my career was taking off, I put fiction-writing aside and focused on books and articles related to business. I decided to return to my original love — in the form of commercial fiction — and committed myself to fiction.

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